Contractual Terms and Conditions

So what precisely did you and other party agree to under the contract? What exactly did the company promise to do? And how much did you agree to pay? We’re talking here about the terms of the contract. Some terms may be expressly negotiated, agreed and laid down within the contract. Other terms may only be assumed or implied – terms which are not stated because they are obvious, or because they relate to the statutory rights of the consumer. Whether they are mentioned in the contract or not, it is crucial to understand the relative importance of each of the contract terms, as it will have implications for how each party is able to proceed if one of those terms is breached.

Where a term is fundamental to the contract and a breach of that term has had significant consequences for you, you have the right to terminate the contract and sue for damages. If a contractual term has been broken without any significant consequences, you may not have the right to terminate the contract, but you can still sue for damages.

See also contract terms with regard to price and timescale

More about contract law

Is it legally binding?

Leave a Comment

17 comments… add one
  • James 14 July, 1:50 pm

    Hi guys,
    I entered a mobile phone contract about a year ago, on an 18 month contract, and I now want-out of my contract. My friends tell me that because my contract was organised over the internet and I didn’t sign anything, the contract isn’t legally binding and I should be able to cancel my contract without any trouble. Is this true?
    Any help would be really appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.

  • Catriona 21 July, 11:12 am

    You don’t have to physically sign a document for a legally binding contract to exist. I’m afraid there may not be much you can do, particularly as quite a long time has passed since you initially signed up for it and your coooling off has long since expired. If you entered into the contract over the internet, you could claim that the contract is legally unenforceable if any of the conditions of the distance selling regs were not met – see the section on distance selling for these, but if it is a large network provider it’s unlikely this will be the case as their procedures are usually watertight. Have a look at the consumer buyer guide on mobile phones (section on ‘choosing the right network’) for more info on legally binding contracts. It is highly probable you will have to rely on the provider’s goodwill to get out of the contract – but I have done this before, just talk nicely to them!

  • Jagdeep 20 November, 4:11 pm

    I just joined LA Fitness on 12 November 2008 but on 18th decided that I want to cancel the contract due to moving abroad. I sent them a letter and also called them on the Customer Service on 20th November 2008 as instructed and I was told that I cannot cancel my contract and if I did I will be liable to pay a cancellation fee on £100. I have not used the facility evebn for a single day and wrote the letter on 17th November 2008, which was a Monday.

    Am I within my rights to cancel the membership?

  • Catriona 21 November, 12:51 am

    Jagdeep, I’m afraid there is no cooling off period in this case unless specified in your contract (which I doubt). In all likelihood you will be tied into a legally binding minimum term contract and will have to pay their cancellation fee regardless of the circumstances. If you have written to them explaining the reasons for cancelling, they may allow you to pay less as a goodwill gesture, although this is entirely at their discretion.

  • mary irons 11 June, 10:22 am

    I bought two sofas from Allders, when they arrived three months later we disliked the height when sitting on them and they are slightly too large for our room – although they do fit.

    I did take measurements and did not notice anything about the height when trying in the shop – they seemed comfortable. However my husband really dislikes them. What rights do I have to a refund? I have not spoken to Allders as cannot get an answer by phone. We took delivery yesterday they have yet to deliver the footstool – they forgot to put on the van.

    The distributors contacted me for delivery and payment not Allders. Still no answer at Allders the distributors managed to organise a direct contact at Allders so I could make the payment and take delivery. I expect to loose the deposit but is it possible to get the rest of our money back?

  • Kathy 9 August, 8:17 pm

    I have just put my children into day care. The contract i signed involved discounts for the children attending for 3 days a week and for being siblings. After one month of being there they have written to say they are changing their fee discount policy to just one sibling discount which amounts to an increase of 48 pounds a month! Before I signed I was told that they review fees in january. but was never told that they would review and change the charging/fee structure.

    I chose this nursery for thier service but also the charging structure they offered. I feel stuck between a hard place and a rock, as changing children to a different nursery is not in their best interest as they have settled, but I feel very unfaily treated. What can I do?

  • Soni imiruaye 20 March, 10:31 pm

    I realize I’ve just placed a bid on a rotary watch but the address I used i will soon be moving house in the next couple of days how do I change my address to the current one on eBay

  • matt 22 May, 5:15 pm

    Good afternoon, my name is Matt and i am having issues with Quickquid. I took a loan out with Quickquid and the contract agreement was to make 3 monthly installments. I then applied for a 2nd loan a few weeks later and it was accepted, but on the same day I cancelled this loan request. The money of the 2nd loan request was going to be paid at the end of the month I applied, so I did not receive the money as I cancelled this. Quickquid then changed my original payment plan by telling me that I all the money must be paid at the end of the 2nd month. I emptied my account and informed them that I will not be paying anything back till they go back to the original contract that they and I agreed to. When I email them I either get an auto reply email or an email informing me that I must contact there collections team. They are adding cost`s to the bill and sending me emails daily informing me I owe this amount of money. To be honest they a really not listening. Can I seek your advise please. Many thanks

  • Ann Davies 10 July, 12:04 pm

    We have entered into a electricity contract with a company who agreed to change the tariff from fixed rate to day night which is crucial to our business.

    They have failed to do so and as a result it has cost us thousands, can we cancel the contract?

  • Sarah 8 February, 8:16 am

    Hi I purchased a wedding how fron a bridal outlet. When the lady was going throught the dress it all seemed ok, no damage. Only to find when I get home that its damaged in a number of places. The shop says no refunds. Where do i stand?.thanks

  • Trevor 13 August, 10:49 pm

    My former girlfriend whent on vacation, I was supposed to go along with her on her vacation but I drive trucks long distance. By the time it was time for her to go on vacation, I didn’t have my half..and I had to return to work shortly I drive trucks long distance…so three weeks prior to me leaving to travel 2500 miles away she booked a vacation and she wanted me to come so she borrowed 500.00 $ from her best friend as she stated to make up for my half..any by the time it was time for me to go along with her on this vacation I was stuck in California working I didn’t get to go…but instead the girl who she borrowed money from, whent along with her in my absence. So now we are separated, and she said she wants to sue me for not paying…there were no written agreements only text message, am I liable to pay even though I didn’t attend.

  • Charles Powell 19 December, 12:15 pm

    I have received a letter from my bank regarding my home owner loan, congratulating me on paying off my loan with the final due payment and outstanding applicable fees. On completion of this payment the bank will vacate the charge on my property, this is good news accept my own records show the loan isnt paid off to the extent the letter states. Would this letter be legally binding and would I be able to enforce it in a court of law?

  • Rob 13 January, 12:46 pm

    Ive been with BT for 5yrs on their 2yr broadband / phone deal . Im now 1yr into my third contract
    BT have without prior notice added a £10 per month billing fee. can they just do that mid contract
    they claim its in the terms. I wasn,t aware of it as I was told it didn,t apply to my account when I queried a while back in response to a flyer saying I could reduce my bill by switching to DD I pay by Bacs instead.

  • Amanda 14 February, 11:20 am

    Hi, in July 2015 I purchased a bespoke shed which cost over £1200. The contract was verbal over the phone and payment in full was made same day by credit card.

    T&C were also verbal and a receipt was never given.

    Basic T&C included 12 month guarantee & fit for purpose

    Less than 6 months later inside of shed is damp and full of mould not to mention damage to personal belongings

    Contractor promised to come back and sort it but never has. We have now claimed via credit card under section 75 but credit card company are asking for receipt and copy of T&C which we don’t have.

    A verbal contract is still legally binding and I would have thought that the credit card payments was proof enough without a physical receipt.

    Where do we stand?

    Thanks in advance

  • mike 12 June, 6:55 am

    I paid for genuine part at Authorized Mercedes dealer, later I found out secretly they used Non-genuine part on my car & other car owners & charged me for genuine parts?

    Please give me advise!

  • Sue 7 December, 12:01 pm

    I have booked places at a casino night and three people have dropped out. The venue has told me that the £41.95 per head is non refundable as it is two weeks before not 4 weeks as per T&Cs.
    However there are still tickets for sale and the venue will not have to provide these meals.
    Is this fair? Can I challenge the company and their T&Cs on this basis?

  • Brian Thornley 21 December, 11:53 pm

    My daughter has been working for a company for the last 5 months 3 of which were her probationary period. At the commencement of her employment she was given a contract and never actually read it. Then only did so when she was off sick for 4 days in one month and she noticed her salary had been reduced at the end of that month (she had completed her probationary 3 months). After going to HR she was told under the terms of her contract she was not entitled to sick pay. So on reading her contract it does state she is entitled to SSP and company sick pay at their discretion after completing her probationary period.
    How can she resolve this?
    Also she noted the stated salary she was to receive was £17,000 pm not £17,000 pa. What would be her position on noting this error in the contract, which has been signed by the owner of the company. What is the companies responsibility?